tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN September 17, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
jeopardy style. >> just answer the question, where are you right now? mr. connery, where are you right now? you wrote, good lord you wrote indoors. that's phenomenal. are we recording this? let's look at your wager. i heart boobs. that's beautiful. >> future contestants, this is your mission should you choose to accept it. i don't want to encourage this. you may not win the game. you'll certainly get the last laugh in final jeopardy and on the ridiculist. "cnn tonight" with don lemon starts right now. a record-breaking 23 million people watched our cnn debate, and now on the night after, listen to what donald trump is saying in new hampshire. >> the first thing i'm going to do is tell you if i'm elected
president, i'm accepting no salary. that's not a big deal for me. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. we have all the must-see moments from the most-watched event in cnn's history. who won, who lost and who will be the next to drop out? this is the debate reshaping the republican race, and donald trump is not the only one in the spotlight. look at hillary clinton with wolf blitzer in her first live tv interview from the campaign trail tonight. >> would you be a better president than bill clinton was as president of the united states? >> oh, wolf. >> let's begin with our breaking news. donald trump at an event in new hampshire, and a moment shocking a whole lot of people. trump decided to take questions from the audience. unfortunately for him the question was from a man with harsh words about muslims. >> a problem in this country.
it's called muslims. we know our current president is one. you know he's not even an american. anyway, we have training camps growing and they want to kill us. when can we get rid of them? >> we'll be looking at a lot of different things. a lot of people are saying that and saying that bad things are happening out there. we'll be looking at that and plenty of other things. >> sarah murray was in the room for that. shy joins me now. i'm interested as to what the reaction was. what was that moment like? >> well, don, this is the rub with town halls. you don't get to pick the questions and the campaign confirmed they didn't screen them. sometimes you get awkward questions like this one. it was quiet in the room. donald trump just kind of went on and addressed the training camp issue. the rest of the audience didn't respond. everyone moved on to additional
questions. cnn's dana bash spoke with trump's campaign manager who said that he didn't hear the part about obama being a muslim but the training camps and that's what he's responding to. you see donald trump interject at first when he says the problem is muslims and obama is a muslim. you can see trump being taken aback luck like, really, this i first question? we're still trying to figure out what is going on there. but after that, it just kind of moved along like your normal town hall. >> okay. so we're going to discuss this wither panel in just a little bit. thank you very much. sarah murray. i want to bring in a columnist for "usa today," robert costa of "the washington post" and kevin madden who has worked with mitt romney's campaign and dana bash. dana, sarah said you spoke with the campaign, and she gave part of what they said. tell us what you heard from
them. >> that's right. i spoke with donald trump a campaign manager who said that he is sure that mr. trump didn't hear the questioner specifically refer to the president as muslim. and that when he was responding, he was talking about the fact that, yes, we should look into training camps. but i'm not there. sarah marie is on the ground so that's why i'm deferring to her about what it was like in the room. i will just say that i actually was back in 2008 with john mccain in the room during a town hall when a voter now famously asked him about the president being a muslim. >> let's listen to it. here it is. >> great. >> can't trust obama. i have read about him, and he's not -- he's a -- he's an arab.
he is not -- >> no, ma'am. no, ma'am. he's a decent family man, citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. >> so, dana, he handled that very well. the question is, did donald trump hear it? he heard it enough to respond to say, oh, this is the question i get like we don't really need or do we need this type of question? he heard that part. it's interesting he didn't hear the first part. so just i'm assuming that i'll take him at his word. even with what he said, did donald trump misan opportunity to be statementsman like and presidential by saying the president is not a muslim or that muslims are good people. they are -- many of them are american citizens and they live here and are law-abiding citizens. >> it's a great question because when john mccain had that moment, i was in the room for that in 2008, he set the bar for what republicans are sort of
expected to do when it comes to the idea that obama isn't a christian, as the president says. he says i'm a christian, i am not muslim. in the room at the time, there were a lot of boos. people didn't want mccain to correct that woman and that is because there are a lot of people in the republican electorate, and i can let kevin speak to this because high knows more about the data, that actually believe that barack obama is a muslim. our polling shows 43% of those responding who are republicans think he's a muslim. >> it's unbelievable when that man stood up and said -- i cannot believe there are people who still think that. i know that muslim remark jumped out to you, robert because you immediately tweeted about it and also you've gotten a response from trump's campaign. what did they say to you? >> furst, trump came out with his own statement tonight and said instead of addressing the question about the training
camps raised by the questioner or addressing the president's faith, he said the president himself is waging a war against christians. in an interview i had with the campaign manager, this is also the point he criticized the press coverage of this saying it's being overblown and trump was addressing this concern that there are terrorist training grounds and groups within the united states. >> bob, what's your response to this? you saw -- >> what's new? what did donald trump do? does he ever answer a question like that? he sat back and said, i don't know. we'll look into it. he's going to look into everything. this is a trumpism if there ever was one. why is he going to correct a guy like that and be a statesman when he's been saying the same thing that guy has said. it was trump who made the birther thing a big issue for a lot of years. i'm not at all surprised. i think it's classic trump.
>> kevin? >> well, look. let's stipulate first that there's no party that has a -- has a monopoly on extreme re rhetoric. sarah murray made an important point earlier that anything can happen when you have a town hall. donald trump is learning that lesson now. he has a lot of experience talking to people's anxieties and talking in a way that -- >> i don't think anyone -- i think taking -- >> hold on. i haven't -- >> let me finish. i think people are not -- >> let me finish my point. >> people are not taking offense to the question in that point. the questioner in that way. it's just the response. you don't know. people can say anything. >> and that's where i was going. that's where i was going. i think the big problem is that when you have a moment like that, that is unscripted, what happens is character and judgments are revealed. and we look back at the moment that dana covered many years
ago. john mccain's character and judgment passed the test. and i finishing there's anything that a lot of voters will take away from this, and i'm not going to pass judgment on it but i disagreed with it the way he reacted. this will be a window into issues like judgment and character. >> kevin, just one -- >> don -- >> go ahead, bob. >> thank you. there's 120,000 voters who go to the caucuses in iowa. the republican caucuses. i would bet that 80% agree with the guy that asked the question. now i don't know if -- i've been in iowa for five presidential races. and among the republican caucus goers, this is a very extreme group of people who do not believe that obama is anything but the devil. and they want him gone. and they do believe he wasn't born here. they do believe he's a muslim. they're wrong, obviously. but trump -- in my own mind, this guy has grown as a
politician. he knows how to let somebody else do his dirty work. >> i don't disagree. i -- >> i would just say something real quick on the reporting side of this. i spoke to trump's campaign manager. i said the key question here is that donald trump did not correct or respond to the assertion by the voter that president obama is a muslim. and i said what does mr. trump believe? does he believe the president is a muslim? his response was that mr. trump speaks for mr. trump. he did not give a direct answer to that question. that's what's going to linger with this controversy. trump in his next interview will have to answer, does he believe -- if the president is a muslim. >> go ahead, dana. >> if i can just add to that. i spoke to the same person to mr. trump a campaign manager and said that very thing. regardless of whether he heard
it, what does mr. trump believe. and his answer to me was, that's not the issue. that's beside the pont, sort of who cares and went down the road of, similar to what he said to bob costa, which is this is the media making a big deal out of it. >> as an operative, that's a cop-out for any campaign to say as a spokesman, mr. trump speaks for mr. trump. that's your job to explain the posture and policies, the positions of your candidate. >> unless you don't want to correct it. >> i guess they're breaking the rules, but -- >> may be breaking rules. trump breaking the rules? my god. >> robert said when i interrupted you, he said more articulately, why don't you just refute it because it's in the answer to the question and not necessarily the question. do we still have sarah murray there? sarah, i want to speak to what bob beckel said that some of the people who support some of the people justice believe president obama is the devil and that's in bob's words.
when you are at these events with donald trump, are people saying these sorts of things about the president? >> i mean there certainly is a strong animosity toward obama for many people who come to these events. for most people they feel they can't trust obama because of his policies. very few come up to you and say they don't think they can trust president obama because they don't believe he was born here or because they believe he's a muslim. for the most part they don't terrorist him on foreign policy, that he kept with his campaign promises. i spoke to a number who are democrats and are still deciding whether to support donald trump or hillary clinton. i don't want to paint everybody who supports donald trump as people who have this personal animosity toward barack obama. clearly we heard from one of them tonight. >> absolutely. not everyone who supports him,
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back with me now, bob beckel, robert costa and kevin. we were talking about a comment and the way trump handled it at a town hall in new hampshire earlier. listen to this and then we'll talk about it. go ahead. >> we have a problem in this country called muslim. we know our current president is one. you know he's not even an american. >> we need this question. >> but anyway, we have training ca camps growing. they want to kill us. that's my question. when can we get rid of them? >> we're going to be looking at a lot of different things. a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening ot there. we'll be looking at that and plenty of other things. >> you're saying that trump's camp is saying he didn't hear it. as soon as he said the first
part, donald trump said, we need this question as our first question. so he heard part of it. if you -- all you have to do is review the videotape. but my question is, what if the president was a muslim. what does it matter? aren't muslims americans as well? don't we have the right to religion in this country? what if hie is a muslim? he's not one. what's the big deal. >> of course, every faith should be respected. the key political controversy here is that trump did not correct the questioner. he did not even articulate whether he believes the president is a muslim. i spoke with trump a campaign manager. when i asked what does mr. trump believe he said mr. trump only speaks for mr. trump. the first thing trump will be asked is what he believes on that question. that's going to linger over his question. >> we have a problem in this country with muslims.
our current president is one, and he said how do we get rid of them, kevin madden. that is deeply disturbing. >> sure. and i think it's a comment that a lot of people would disagree with. i disagree that that's reflective of views within the party. so i think one of the things that i think was great about last night's debate was you saw on that stage ten other candidates that if they were asked that question they would have confronted it and they would have -- and they would have answered it very, very differently. and that's one of the things great about last night was that so many of the other people in our party were on display talking about policies and issues that matter. they were talking about their vision for the country. because of that, all of the republican voters out there who obviously would disagree with that one voter who made that statement will have a great
choice of candidates and array of candidates to choose from. >> bob, i want to ask you. donald trump, his campaign has said he did not hear it. what do you think? you know he's going to respond to it. if he didn't hear it, he didn't hear it. how should he move forward? >> did he hear it? of course he heard it. kevin, nobody's painting a broad braush about republicans being against muslims. >> i thought it was a sweeping generalization that was erroneous and not backed up -- >> you thought that was sweeping and -- >> that's your prerogative to make that. >> thank you very much. i'd suggest going to iowa and check it out. what does he do from here? >> i've been to iowa, and it's not true. go ahead, though. >> well, i guess we have a disagreement about that. >> we, do indeed. >> and remember the people that go to the iowa caucus represent
a small percentage of the republicans in iowa. what does trump do from here? trump was not responsible for bailing out obama on that particular question. because there are people who believe that. and he will, i think, eventually back off the way he always does. the guy says something and lets a couple of days go by and then change his story. we're starting to learn the m.o. of this guy. he'll try to work his way out of it. in the meantime, the damage has probably been done to obama among those who believe that to be true. >> gentlemen, thank you. stay with me. carly fiorina is drawing a lot of praise taking on rivals on stage not showing a away from taking shots at hillary clinton. to get where i am. y and i didn't get here alone. there were people who listened along the way.
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in her first live interview from the campaign trail. wolf joins me now. hillary clinton took a lot of hits last night. let's listen to one important moment from that debate. >> as regards planned parenthood, anyone who has watched this videotape, i dare, hillary clinton, barack obama, to watch these tapes. watch a fully formed fetus on the taubl, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. this is about the character of our nation. and if we will not stand up and force president obama to veto this bill, shame on us. >> wolf, you got a response. what did she say? >> first of all, planned parenthood says that part of the video had nothing to do with planned parenthood. it was not an aborted fetus. these guys who did the video, planned parenthood said they got
it some place else from some miscarriage, if you will. i asked hillary clinton if she'd seen these controversial videos. she didn't say she did but she did strongly defend planned parenthood and defend what the organization does for women and then she said this, don. listen. >> what this is about is the fact that some of the planned parenthood facilities perform abortions, which is legal under the laws of the united states. i understand that the republican party and particularly the candidates we heard from last night, wish that were not the case. i think it's important to sort out there's a lot of emotion. there's a lot of accusations that are being hurled about. i think it's important to sort out and try to actually figure out what is going on. >> and she also went on to really sharply condemn those republicans, especially the republican presidential candidates, including the house speaker john boehner for not
forcefully insisting that this notion of potentially shutting down the federal government to avoid this $500 million in federal funding for planned paurnthood go away. she said that would be a disaster. so she was very forceful and strong in defending plann ened parenthood. >> she didn't really take on carly fiorina specifically, did she? >> no, she didn't. she didn't specifically go after carly fiorina, although carly fiorina in the debate and in almost all of her speeches almost directly goes after hillary clinton in strong ways. the other day she almost came to carly fiorina's defense when donald trump was quoted in the rolling stones article about look at her face. look at carly fiorina's face. is that a face you want to be the face of the president of the united states to which hillary clinton later said donald trump should start respecting women. so in effect defending carly fiorina but she didn't go after
her in the interview we had today. >> let's talk about the person running against her on her side as a democrat, bernie sanders, beating her in new hampshire. neck and neck in iowa. is she worried about that? >> i think she is. she's becoming more transparent, that's her word. she's doing more interviews, including this first live tv interview she did with me today. you're seeing her more visible, especially now in these polls in new hampshire and iowa. bernie sanders is doing remarkably well. he's ahead in some of these polls. of course, she's still ahead nationally among democrats. in iowa and new hampshire, the first two contests, he's doing really well. she is worried she's getting more assertive, more aggressve. not directly challenging him or mentioning his name. she does say i'm a true democrat, a real democrat, suggesting or implying he who is the independent senator from vermont, socialist, self-declared socialist, if you
will, maybe he's not a real democrat, a true democrat. there's implied criticism of him but not direct criticism. >> wolf blitzer, thank you. >> thank you, don. one of the most noticeable exchanges was the face-off between carly fiorina and donald trump. >> trump said the following about you. quote, look at that face. would anyone vote for that? can you imagine that? the face of our next president. mr. trump later said he was talking about your persona, not your appearance. >> i think women all over this country heard very clearly what mr. trump said. >> back with me now, bob beckel, robert costa. a lot of people thought carly knocked it out of the park with that answer. >> i think she did a good job. the fiorina winning this in a big way is vastly overstated. one of the problems she has here is that she was with a group of
people, all who were talking trump. trump came out of that debate last night a little bloodied but not battled and somebody needed to take him on more direct. this is the time you look at somebody square in the eye and say, instead of saying other women think that was a horrible thing to say, look at him in a personal level and let him have it. i've seen campaigns turn on one line. i expected her either with humor or some other things. she went the other way. i also think that, look, carly fiorina, to stand up there and have the nerve to talk about that planned paurnthood video when it's now been proven with virtually no question that that was not a planned parenthood facility is to me striking. it tells me a lot about her and what she's willing to do. >> wolf blitzer explained hillary sid, or that part of the video, plann ened parenthood sa that was taken from somewhere
else. so chris christie had some fiery moments as well. take a look. >> i'm as entertained as anyone by this personal back and forth about the history of donald and carly's career, for the 55-year-old construction worker out in that audience tonight who doesn't have a job and can't fund his child's education, they could care less about your careers. they care about theirs. let's start talking about that on this stage and stop playing the games. john, i'm not done yet. stop -- and stop playing -- carly, listen. you interrupted everybody else on this stage but not me. >> costa, did he bring some life back into his campaign? >> he did but governor christie's campaign reminds me of a bruce springsteen "b" side. most people don't know about it. christie is trying to revive his campaign by going back to his strengths, being a town hall
person who could have some sharp answers in new hampshire. it's a crowded field. and where his lane is is still murky. >> kevin, this next one is for you. this is from jeb bush where he defends his brother, president george w. bush. here it is. >> your brother -- and your brother's administration gave us barack obama because it was such a disaster those last three months that abraham lincoln wouldn't have been elected. >> as it relates to my brother there's one thing i know for sure. he kept us safe. i don't know if you remember, donald. [ applause ] you remember the firefighter with his arms around him? he sent a clear signal that the united states would be strong and fight islamic terrorism, and he did keep us safe. >> he got a lot of applause for that. do you think he's finally figured out how to answer tough questions when it comes to his
last name? he had to have expected that. >> look. it was a really good moment if you talk to the bush people. they'd point to that as a pivotal point of the debate where jeb showed some strength, and then after that, probably didn't hear from donald trump for another 35 minutes. they claim that as a victory. the question on that, on how much of that is going to last for jeb bush is based on the fact that this is jeb bush having to litigate his brother's record. for jeb bush to get this debate, whether it's national security or the economy back on stronger footing for him it has to be about jeb bush and his vision for the country and what he'd do in the future. he did all right last newt litigating the past but going forward he's going to have to pivot and start talking more about himself. the next debate, it has to be about jeb bush and his record and his vision for the country versus having to defend his brother. that would be a better spot to be in.
>> i was watching it and kept expecting donald trump to say 9/11 happened on your brother's watch. anyone think no one wants to touch that? >> i'll jump in there. i spoke to trump. donald trump was -- he seemed very tentative and that's why he disappeared for those 35 minutes. he seemed tentative in getting into any part of the debat that had to do with national security or foreign policy. most of what came out of his mouth was gibberish. that's when he pulled back. >> robert costa? >> we're seeing the evolution of trump as a candidate. on one side the comments and exchange with a voter making the assertion about the president's faith. and you saw trump more low key trying to have some response that showed some research and some prep when it came to carly fiorina's business record. trump is balancing both sides as a contender trying to be more establishment in his presentation and preparation but still having that brawl and
swagger. >> a lot of people said marco rubio had a good night as well. listen. >> as the number one issue that a president will ever confront and the most um portent obligation the federal government has is to keep this nation saufe. we're eviscerate our military and a president more respectful to the ayatollah in iran than the prime minister of israel. >> marco rubio is the candidate that democrats need to be most worried about if he gets the nomination. do you believe that is correct, bob? >> he represents or can represent 17% bloc of the american electorate. the last one to do well among hispanics was george bush. you can't get beaten 2 to 1 among hispanics and expect to win this country. i think bush finally, finally
decided to fight back and i think it did him a lot of good. hig he's got an answer for his brother which is he kept us safe and there seemed to be a receptive auddwroens that. somebody has to start putting trump on the coals and say what are you going to do? be specific, don. you kept talking about you're going to get four hostages out ofu ran before you get inaugurated. how are you going to do it? i think the press and his opponents have given him a wide berth on that. >> bob, robert, kevin. get some sleep, kevin. i've seen you on television 24 hours. >> don, i'm the last guy here. >> all right. appreciate it, you guys. thank you. up next, which candidate strk gold at the debougate and didn't do so well? i'll ask two of the people who questioned the candidates. at&t and directv are now one.
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two people who asked the tough questions, dana bash and hugh hewitt. you guys did a fantastic job last night. straight off the bat, congratulations. >> thank you. >> hugh, i'm going to you first. >> thanks, don. >> you've had 24 hours to absorb last night. what's your read on it a day later? >> i'm astonished that automai' part of the cnn record book. part of the largest audience in cnn history. >> you're welcome. >> it's great. we don't even count the radio audience. there were millions more listening on the radio. here's what i take away from it. your technical team is extraordinary. they built an amazing set, amazing shots and built an audience. and carly got the gold. marco rubio got the silver and
chris christie the bronze. one bit of unconventional wisdom. scott walker is the slow and steady rocky guy. i've seen this movie three times. people count him out. he never gives up and goes down. he gets up off the floor. keep watching scott walker to come back slow and steady in iowa. >> dana, you want to weigh in on that? >> you know, i think it might be harder for scott walker to do that, but when you are talking about iowa, as hugh knows probably better than i, it is not only slow and steady but really all about organization. and he has been in there. his campaign has spent really banked it all on iowa. i wouldn't be surprised. but i'll also weigh in on the fact we do have an amazing team at cnn and we were very happy to have hugh. it was a lovely experience.
>> okay. dana, an event tonight in new hampshire. >> love fest over. >> i was going to say move on like patting ourselves on the back. at an event in new hampshire, donald trump gave his opinion of the debate. >> some evening. now the problem with the evening, it did so well that cnn said, let's make it an hour longer. can you believe this? that debate was three hours. it felt like more than that. >> dana, is that true? >> which part? that it felt like more than that or that it was made longer? it was scheduled to be as long as it was. >> yes, yes, it was. because, look. because we had -- fox had one debate originally scheduled for the people who were doing best. and then the undercard was a
late addition for them. for us it never was. we were always going to have one long debate, split into an intermission if you will. that was always the plan. the second one certainly went longer, perhaps than it was initially planned, but the fact is there were 11 people on the stage. and you can make the argument that it maybe went a little long for donald trump's taste. for me, i was sitting there. it flew by. >> and i want to agree, don. people turn off bad movies. they stop reading bad books. they walk out of bad plays. everybody stuck around. i said afterwards ernie banks, chicago cub, let's play two. the american people are hungry for this. jake ran a great debate. people talked to each other, not the moderator. it wasn't grand standing or talking points. there's a hunger. people are seriously concerned about where this country is going. seriously concerned, republicans
are, about a third obama term in the person of hillary clinton, and they were there to watch. they would have stayed for four hours, five hours. and by the waugh, and this is true of all of them, presidents sometimes have to go through three-hour crisis meetings like every day. chairs might help but it's not an unusual thing to have to be on your toes for three hours. >> people don't walk away if you are having a good discussion. that's a motto of this show. people don't walk away from good conversation. nice job. another pat on the bag for everyone here. see you guys soon. up next -- >> thanks, don. >> fooiting to be the gop nominee in the field of 15 candidates. how much longer can those struggling in the polls stay in this race? i'll talk to some campaign insiders. an happen spontaneously, so why pause to take a pill? and why stop what you're doing to find a bathroom? with cialis for daily use, you don't have to plan around either.
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>> glad to have you. alice, first. a lot of people. i want to take a listen to one of the lighter moments from last night's debate. >> i'm here to say that i think we are in fact, the "a" team. we have some remarkable people and we even have our own mr. t. who doesn't mind saying about others, you are a fool. and i'm delighted to be here with all of these guys and would put any of them in an administration that i led. >> so invoking donald trump right off the bat. we're not hearing huckabee mentioned as one of the candidates who did well as a stand-out performance. why do you think that is? >> it's unfortunate, as you were just discussing with dana and hughes, a three-hour debate and governor huckabee was asked three direct questions and only had nine minutes to actually speak. it's a little difficult toing the talk of ton the town when y
time is limited. he was very strong and made very solid points. specifically when he interjected on the iran issue, which he's been very strong on and very force them iran deal is not good for america, it's not good for the world. it's not good for our great ally israel. and he made a very solid point that barack obama doesn't understand the problems with the iran deal. the governor made that point quite clear. and also made some very solid points on showing a positive outlook for the future and asked what would happen if he were president. he'd make americans' lives better and make this country strong and increase the national security we have. >> i want to tack about your guy, john, rick santorum. participated in an earlier debate. an interesting moment where he talks about raising the minimum wage. >> what i propose is not anything the president has proposed. i believe that would be harmful to the american people. a 50 cents an hour increase over
three years, to me, you are going to talk to 90% of american workers, by the way, 90% of american workers don't own a bar or a business. they work for a living. most of them are wage earners. and republicans are losing elections because we're not talking about them. how are you going to win? how are we going to win if 90% of americans think we don't care at all about them? >> so he took his own party to task there. i'm wondering if that's part of his strategy to appear as an outsider because outsiders are doing so well this campaign season. >> one thing people have always liked about rick isas authenticity. he's not one that's just going to regurgitate rnc talking points. he feels strongly that both parties butals the republican party has ignored hard working americans. whether it's relative to immigration, relative to increasing the stagnant wages
that most americans face, and being a leader is doing more than just following someone else's talking points. >> one thing, alice, both of your candidates have in common, they both won iowa. huckabee in 2008, santorum in 2012. this time around, how long do you think they can hang on? >> we're in this for certainly the long haul. as dana said, the key to doing well in iowa and doing well in this process is organization. we have a tremendously strong organization. in iowa, the first caucus state, we have more than 140 leaders. we have more than 70 county chairs, a very impressive faith-based organization of leaders and pastors from all across iowa. south carolina, the key state. we have similar numbers. we have more than 140 leaders. county chairs. and that's the key to success is not -- you know, whether or not you grab all the headlines after
a debate is having that organization in place, getting them out. it's not about being hot right now. >> you think that he can -- >> it's about being hot in february on a cold february night. >> you think he can do well in the caucuses. jan, i have to get this in. if you can answer quickly. the next gop debate, cnbc, rnc's communication director suggesting there may not be an undercard debate. how would that change the state of this race? >> i think it would be unfortunate. if you took four years ago rick santorum was only about 1% in the polls and wouldn't be included in the debates yet won 11 out of the 30 contested states, tied two others and came within a whisker of winning the nomination. it's a mistake to know we'll have polling numbers dictate de baits. debates should dictate the polling numbers. we are so far out these numbers don't mean anything. >> thank you john and alice.
it is 11:00 p.m. on the east coast. the night after the most-watched event in cnn's history. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. donald trump making the rounds. he and his republican rivals did not hold back last night slamming each other on foreign policy, business experience and childhood vaccinations. tonight we'll fact check their claims. plus carly fiorina's mike drop moment in her face-off with trump. and the elephant in the room. the hot-button issue that never even came up in the debate and should have. we'll discuss all of that this evening. we'll begin with the man